What You Need to Start Selling Online from Home

woman selling online from laptop

A laptop and internet connection are all you need to start your online business– but arm yourself with some additional tools.

The great thing about selling online from home through SheepBuy is that there’s very little overhead: you don’t have to rent a space, perform routine maintenance, or hire employees. You can get started with just a computer and an internet connection. Of course, if you want your online business to grow, there are a few other basic tools you should consider. You’ll want to have:

A niche. When you’re deciding what products you want to sell, one of the first things you’ll need to do is determine who you want to sell to. Your business will be most successful if you find a niche that has room for growth—that is, a specific group of consumers who are demanding your products. For example, if you’re starting an online bakery, you might market vegan baked goods to people on a vegan diet.

A business plan. Avoid surprise costs by drawing up a business plan before you start your online store. You’ll need to factor in production costs, shipping costs, taxes, and fees for your online store (on SheepBuy, that’s just $10 a month).

A business license. The business registration process varies by state, so go to SBA.gov to determine what you need to do to get your business license. You’ll need to decide how you want to register your business as well; if it’s just you running your online store, you’ll most likely want to register for sole proprietorship, but if you’re planning on greatly expanding, you may want to register as a limited liability company (LLC).

Inventory (optional). If you’re planning on offering homemade products or products that you buy and resell, you’ll want to build up your inventory before you get started. However, it’s entirely possible to start a store without any inventory using a process called drop shipping. With drop shipping, you partner with a supplier who will ship products directly to customers when ordered.

Social media presence. Once your online store is up and running, you should promote it by establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter. You can also create a blog, post pictures of your products on Instagram, or even start a board on Pinterest. Once you start selling, build an email list so that you can let loyal customers know about upcoming deals and discounts.

If you’re smart about how you build your business, selling online from home can be a great way to make money with very little financial risk.